Thule or Yakima?

Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

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There are basically 3 types of load bars: a square bar, an aero bar and a wing bar. A square bar is made of hollow steel tubing with a plastic jacket. An aero bar is similar to a square bar but with rounded tapered edges made out of aluminum, while a wing bar, as the name suggests has a wing-shaped profile made out of aluminum.
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Choosing the right loadbars or crossbars and attachments really boils down to 2 things; weight and noise. Traditionally crossbars were rounded square bars made out of steel with a plastic shell which weighed approximately 5-10kgs each excluding the fit kit. Newer models from Thule and Yakima are made out of aluminum which are lighter and have better weight to performance ratio. Yes, they aren’t as sturdy as the steel ones but your top load won’t exceed 100kg anyway since it is typically the maximum weight limit of your cargo.

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I found the Wingbar design from Thule works best among all the Thule and Yakima crossbars. It’s a third of the weight of the squarebars with little to no wind noise when driving down the highway. This is important since not only is it quiet, it also has less drag which won’t impact your fuel consumption. Yakima has a similar product, the Whispbar Edge S54 which looks sexier than the Thule counterpart – the Thule Wingbar Edge.

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